A word I never gave a second thought to before becoming a parent—weaning. For the first year of life, it’s one introduction and weaning after another. So as I gave Hal her first real taste of dessert, I thought I’d wean her into the world of sugar with this maple-sweetened baby cake. Though it technically makes one tiny cake that the baby will poke holes in at best, it’s highly palatable. The crumb of the cake is much more akin to banana bread than cake. Feel free to make the cake smaller so you can get 2 mini cakes out of it. Because you’ll want some cake sans holes too.
- 3/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1/4 c. oat flour*
- 1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1/4 c. maple syrup, plus more for assembly
- 1/4 c. orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 c. whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- Make the cake. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a 8″ square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a small pan, melt butter. Mash the banana into the butter. Stir in maple syrup, orange juice, milk, and egg until evenly incorporated. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into the pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until center of the cake springs back when pressed. Allow to cool completely before assembling.
- Make frosting. In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until evenly combined. Add in maple syrup one tablespoon at a time.
- Assemble the cake. Using a 4″ biscuit cutter, cut out 4 circles for the layers. Save the leftover for yourself.
- Place bottom layer on a stand or plate. Brush a thin layer of maple syrup to add moisture and sweetener into the cake. Add a thin layer of cream cheese. Stack additional cake layer pressing on the center to even out. Repeat until all the layers are used.
- With the remaining bit of cream cheese, lightly ice the outside of the cake as your would dirty ice or crumb coat your cake. Chill until serving. Allow to sit out 10-20 minutes beforehand. Garnish with sprinkles just before serving, if desired.
*You can purchase oat flour, however, you can just as easily make it in a food processor or high powered blender by grinding the oats.
• For all the second time+ moms or for the non-crazy moms, add 2 tablespoons or so of pure cane sugar into the batter.